The Super Basketball League’s (SBL) annual All-Star weekend commences at the National Taiwan University of Physical Education and Sport in Taichung this afternoon with a skills challenge to jumpstart the mid-season gala that will bring in fans from around the nation.
Aside from the usual slam dunk contest, three-point shootout and All-Star Game, this year’s event will feature players from the Women’s Super Basketball League (WSBL) in a ladies-only three-point shootout, as well as a Battle of the Rising Stars and the first-ever mixed shooting contest featuring teams with a current SBL coach, an SBL player and a WSBL player.
“We are certain that with interest in basketball continuing to grow in Taiwan, [the All-Star weekend] will bring every fan some fun and entertainment this year,” renowned sports promoter and this year’s event coordinator Eric Chang of Bros Sports Marketing said earlier this week.
Over the last month or so fans have voted for the players they want to see start this year’s game with the Dacin Tigers, the Yulon Luxgens, Kinmen Liquor and Bank of Taiwan providing players for the Red Team and players from Pure Youth Construction, the Taiwan Mobile Cloud Leopards and Taiwan Beer making up the Blue Team.
The vote-winners by position are:
Guards: Red Team — Chen Chih-chung (Luxgens) and Wang Chih-chuin (Tigers); Blue Team — Chen Shih-jeh (Pure Youth) and Chen Shih-nian (Leopards).
Forwards: Red Team — Tien Lei (Tigers), Lu Cheng-rue (Luxgens) and Chou Bo-chen (Luxgens); Blue Team — Liu Chan (Taiwan Beer), Doug Creighton (Pure Youth) and Cheng Ren-wei (Leopards).
Also worth noting are the slam dunk contest that has Kinmen Liquor rookie Soong Yu-hsuan eying the winner’s trophy, with the young 185cm leaper offering to remove his top should he win the event.
In the three point shootout, defending champ Creighton boasted of a repeat performance in a press conference earlier this week, while last year’s runner-up Lu Cheng-rue will look to avenge his one-point loss to Creighton in a highly anticipated rematch.
In an effort to include other local sports celebrities in the all-star weekend, players from the newly formed Eda Rhinos (formerly the Sinon Bulls) of the Chinese Professional Baseball League will also make a guest appearance in the 24-second shootout during the All-Star Game.